September 13, 2008

Helicopter parenting

Have you ever heard the term Helicopter Parenting? DBF Michael asked me if I was being a helicopter parent with regards to something that had to do with my youngest son. This is a term for a person who pays extremely close attention to his or her child or children. They rush to prevent any harm or failure from befalling them or letting them learn from their own mistakes, sometimes even contrary to the children's wishes. They are so named because, like a helicopter, they hover closely overhead, rarely out of reach, whether their children need them or not. My question is, don't all parents do this? Why do they have to put "Helicopter" in front of parenting when your job as a parent is to protect your offspring's from harm? If a parent wasn't concerned about their child's well being, then I would be worried. Did you know that the rise of the cell phone is often blamed for the explosion of helicopter parenting? It's has been called "the world's longest umbilical cord." That makes me laugh. Yes, I know we survived our youth without cell phones but aren't they convenient when you want to know where your child is? I agree, some parents go above and beyond what they need to do in raising their kids. However, what's the alternative? Not caring? Its been proven that even though kids want their independence, they like the security of knowing that we are there for them. A child with no guidance ends up lost in the shuffle. So, maybe I am a Helicopter Parent but I could think of a lot worse things to be. Couldn't you?

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5 comments:

Jenny McB said...

Like anything else, there are extremes. I read some articles last year about parents contacting college professors about grades.

The cell phone is barely an umbilical cord here, the service is spotty. I get more grief from my kids for not having it on.

Debbie said...

I think the key word is extreme and also the idea of protecting them from failure. As parents we are definitely to set guidelines, enforce them and protect our children from harm. If, however, we protect them from failure or from the consequences of their own mistakes we are just setting them up for a huge fall when they are in the real world. Everyone fails sometimes just as everyone loses sometimes and kids need to begin learning this at an early age so they learn how to deal with not being perfect or things not going their way. Helicoptering refers to parents who try to micro-manage their children -not letting them make any of their own decisions or try to exempt them from deserved consequences.

Mojo said...

Interesting that you should choose "Vanishing Point" for an illustration. Is this from the original with Barry Newman or the remake with Vigo Mortensen?

Lori said...

Hmmmmm, Im not sure on that one????

Ruth said...

It is hard to get it "right" as a parent, isn't it? Everyone has an opinion: either you're neglectful or a helicopter parent, maybe a little of both. I think all we can do is the best we can!